Sacramento Republic FC announced yesterday that they have exercised contract options on 10 players ahead of the 2019 season. Players included in the announcement are goalkeepers Josh Cohen and Rafael Diaz, defenders Mitchell Taintor and Shannon Gomez, midfielders Keven Aleman, Villyan Bijev, Jure Matjasic and Jaime Villarreal, and forwards Cameron Iwasa and Roberto Hategan.
It is welcomed news for the Republic faithful to see many of the core group from the 2018 season already locked up for next year. Credit to Republic General Manager Todd Dunivant and Manager Simon Elliott for the quick action to get these guys secured early.
The Republic also announced that six players from last season are out of contract including, defenders Elliott Hord, Carlos Rodriquez and Josh Turnley, midfielders Luis Espino and Hayden Partain and forward Wilson Kneeshaw (which we already know he was gone via his Twitter account). Additionally, defender Emrah Klimenta declined his player option to return and Adam Moffat announced his retirement yesterday afternoon (see below for additional thoughts on Moffat).
The Quails also declined contract options on defenders Cole Seiler and Justin Schmidt, midfielder Jeremy Hall and forward Christian Eissele. The club has signed Hayden Partain (pending league approval) and are in negotiations to re-sign Hall, Hord and Kilmenta.
While fans should be thrilled that all these guys will be back, I think the fact that Iwasa, Cohen and Bijev will be coming back is a boon for the club. These three players were unquestionably the heart and soul of the team last year, and should continue to be standout players for the Quails next season.
Of the players remaining from last season, I would most like to see the club re-sign Hord. He has been nothing but fantastic for the Republic, and really turned it on late last year, when it was clear he was fully back from his injury.
Same goes for Hall. He’s such a force in the middle and great distributor and leader.
What do you think? Are you excited about yesterday’s news? Sound off in the comments section below!
Extra on Moffat:
Adam Moffat was a true gentleman. Always accommodating and fun to interview. We wish him the best on his retirement and appreciate all that he did to represent our club and city with class.
Congratulations on 15 great years!